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10 Common watchOS 6 Problems and How to Fix Them

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The watchOS 6 update is here with new features and performance fixes, but there are also a number of watchOS 6 problems, errors and issues that are still on the final release after months of testing.

Since there is no way to downgrade watchOS 6 to watchOS 5, you need to focus on fixing any watchOS 6 problems that you run into on your own, instead of waiting for Apple or going to an Apple Store.

The current watchOS 6 problems include many familiar issues like; bad battery life, sluggish performance, connectivity issues, problems installing the update, incompatible phones, missing watch faces, color issues with watch faces and apps that won’t work. Some are new, and others are familiar from watchOS 5. Here’s a full guide on how to fix Apple Watch problems.

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For some issues you will need to wait for watchOS 6.0.1 or watchOS 6.1 and others may require a trip to an Apple Store. Thankfully, you can fix many of these issues on your own in a few minutes.

This guide will walk you through fixes for some of the most common watchOS 6 problems. If you are running into your battery draining fast, the watch feeling sluggish and connectivity issues, this guide will help you get your Apple Watch back to like new.

watchOS 6 Installation Problems

How to fix watchOS 6 installation problems.

How to fix watchOS 6 installation problems.

One of the biggest issues that you may run into is a problem installing watchOS 6 on your device. You can fix this on your own.

Common complaints are that the watchOS 6 update takes too long to download and install. It took us almost an hour and a half to install watchOS 6 on the Series 4. Connecting to Faster WiFi and restarting your iPhone and Apple Watch can help. So can waiting a few days for demand to slow.

Read: How Long Does it Take to Install watchOS 6?

If your iPhone won’t see the watchOS 6 update there are a few things to try. First off, make sure you installed iOS 13. You need this to be able to install watchOS 6. The next thing you need to do is restart your devices. This can fix many issues.

If you tried the watchOS 6 beta or iOS 13 beta, you may need to delete those profiles to install the official release. Go to Settings -> General -> Profiles and then delete the beta profiles.

watchOS 6 Connection Problems

Fix watchOS 6 connection problems.

Fix watchOS 6 connection problems.

Is your Apple Watch no longer connecting to Bluetooth, WiFi or LTE? You may be one of the unlucky people with watchOS 6 connection problems. You can likely solve these issues on your own with a little work.

The first thing to do is try turning these connections off and then back on. You can also try turning AirPlane mode on and then off.

  1. Swipe Up from the bottom of your Apple Watch
  2. Tap on WiFi to turn it off.
  3. Wait for a second and tap again to turn it on.

You can try the same thing with LTE and if you need to fix Bluetooth issues the best bet is to restart the Apple Watch. To do this, hold the side button and then slide power off to the right and then after the watch powers down press the digital crown to start it back up.

watchOS 6 Battery Drain

Is your Apple Watch battery life bad after installing the watchOS 6 update? This is fairly common on the first day and also can plague users if something goes awry during the installation.

The first thing to try is restarting your Apple Watch and your iPhone. This can solve many issues. Press and hold the digital crown and the side button at the same time until you see the Apple Logo. Then let go.

If that doesn’t fix your battery life, wait a day or two and see if things improve. This is annoying to deal with, but sometimes the watch just needs to catch up with the update.

You can also try to limit notifications, or get rid of apps you no longer use. Another option is to turn on power reserve mode if things get really bad. This isn’t a fix for bad battery life problems, but it will get your Apple Watch through the day. To do this, hold the side button until the menu pops up and then swipe over on power reserve.

For users with bad watchOS 6 battery life after a few days, you may need to unpair and re-pair the Apple Watch and iPhone. To do this, you need to go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

  1. On your iPhone open the Watch app.
  2. Tap on My Watch and tap Apple Watch.
  3. Tap to Unpair Apple Watch.
  4. Next, tap to confirm and if you have Activation Lock on, enter your Apple ID password to turn it off.

Once this is done, you can connect the device and set it up with your iPhone again. This will take some time.

Color Missing from watchOS 6 Faces

Get color back on your Apple Watch faces.

Get color back on your Apple Watch faces.

The Apple Watch may look like there are no color options for some of the Apple Watch faces. There is a new selection option on the Apple Watch that you can use to add them back.

  1. Press and hold on the Apple Watch Face.
  2. Tap on Customize.
  3. On the main selection screen scroll with the digital crown until you get to white or black.
  4. White is the first color option.

Once you choose White or black, the rest of the colors return. It’s not clear why Apple limits the use of the color you choose, other than the fact that Apple believes they and only they know what a good watch face looks like.

Missing Watch Faces

The new watch faces aren't missing, just hidden.

The new watch faces aren’t missing, just hidden.

If you can’t find the new watchOS 6 watch faces, they are likely there, you just need to add them so that you can find them. To do this;

  1. Press on any watch face.
  2. Swipe all the way to the right.
  3. Tap on New (+)
  4. Scroll with the Digital Crown to find the face.

This is more likely than an actual missing watch face. So give it a try and see if you can get the new watchOS 6 face you want.

Sluggish Apple Watch after watchOS 6 Update

Is your Apple Watch running slow after installing watchOS 6? These fixes are similar to those for bad battery life on watchOS 6.

  • Try restarting your Apple Watch.
  • Try Restarting your iPhone.
  • Do a Hard Reset – Hodl the Digital Crown and Side Button for 10 seconds until you see the Apple Logo.

If these don’t work, you can try waiting a day or two for the device to index and update all the apps and adjust, or you can try a un-pair and re-pair option. To do that,

  1. On your, iPhone open the Watch app.
  2. Tap on My Watch and tap Apple Watch.
  3. Tap to Unpair Apple Watch.
  4. Next, tap to confirm and if you have Activation Lock on, enter your Apple ID password to turn it off.

This will take a little time, so don’t do it if you are in a hurry.

watchOS 6 App Crashes and Issues

How to fix watchOS 6 apps problems.

How to fix watchOS 6 apps problems.

Are Apple Watch apps crashing or acting slow after installing watchOS 6? The easiest way to fix this issue is to update your apps on the iPhone. This can bring iOS 13 and watchOS 6 updates that fix compatibility and it should fix most problems.

You can also try uninstalling the app on your watch and phone, restarting and then re-installing the app to see if that fixes the problems. If not, you may need to wait for an update to the app.

Can’t Install WatchOS 6 with iPhone 6

We’re seeing a number of reports from users with an iPhone 6 and an Apple Watch 4 who are not able to install watchOS 6. This is a common problem and an annoying one, but unfortunately, there is no fix.

The watchOS 6 update requires iOS 13 and the iPhone 6 doesn’t run iOS 13. Do not pair the watch to a newer iPhone and update and then try to pair to your iPhone 6, as it will not work.

Missing Notifications on watchOS 6

Some users are not getting notifications on the Apple Watch after installing watchOS 6. If this happens to you, you might need to unpair the watch and then set it back up. This is an annoying way to fix a small problem, but it has the highest rate of success. Before you do that, try restarting your phone and watch, and see if that fixes things. If not, follow these directions;

  1. On your, iPhone open the Watch app.
  2. Tap on My Watch and tap Apple Watch.
  3. Tap to Unpair Apple Watch.
  4. Next, tap to confirm and if you have Activation Lock on, enter your Apple ID password to turn it off.

Once that is done, you can open the Apple Watch app and connect the two devices again.

Red Exclamation After Installing watchOS 6

One of the worst watchOS 6 problems you can see is a red exclamation point on your Apple Watch while installing or right after installing the watchOS 6 update. This means that there was a problem with the installation and it could mean your watch is bricked.

Before you go to Apple, try forcing a restart. Hold the side button and digital crown for 10 seconds. If you see an Apple logo, let go and see if the Apple Watch boots up to a normal screen. If so, you are good to go.

If not, you need to make an appointment with Apple.

60 Exciting Things You Can Do With the Apple Watch

Answer Calls on the Apple Watch

Answer Calls on the Apple Watch

You can answer a call on your Apple Watch using it as a small Bluetooth speaker phone. You only want to use this for shorter calls because the audio quality isn't as good as when you are talking on speakerphone on your iPhone. 

The Apple Watch only allows you to answer your calls on Speakerphone, so you won't want to use this all the time. It is very handy when you are working on a project or busy with your hands. Definitely be conscious of where you are taking calls. If you wouldn't talk on speakerphone, you shouldn't talk on your Apple Watch.

If you buy the new Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE, you can even make calls on the Apple Watch without your iPhone nearby. This requires adding the watch to your plan for $10 a month. You cannot answer a FaceTime video call on the Apple Watch. 

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Ernesto

    09/21/2019 at 2:53 am

    What about the “Mickey Mouse no longer talks after upgrade to WatchOS 6” bug?

    • Steve

      09/22/2019 at 10:54 am

      I am having the same problem and called apple support – could not fix and waiting for a call from senior tech

      • Massi

        09/29/2019 at 12:40 pm

        Just enable and then disable VoiceOver:
        Open Settings, go to General > Accessibility > VoiceOver, then turn on VoiceOver.
        Double-tap the VoiceOver button to turn VoiceOver off.
        You can also use Siri “Turn VoiceOver on” or “Turn VoiceOver off.”
        This will fix the MM bug

  2. Mariano

    09/21/2019 at 4:28 am

    After installing Watch OS6 the battery life is really bad and I lost force touch on the watch.

  3. harry

    09/21/2019 at 10:28 am

    My watch getting repeatedly disconnected/locked and I had to unlock it often.

  4. Jade

    09/24/2019 at 6:34 pm

    I no longer get Push Alerts from iPhone for my Alarms. In the past, I can stop/snooze through my watch when my alarm on my phone goes off.

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